The USPB reports fresh potatoes, held as in-home inventory, are up 5 percentage points as of February 2010, and since a previous survey completed during October 2009. Increases were seen across all categories of potatoes in the home. Increases were primarily driven by higher income, more educated and married households.
The National Eating Trends (NET) eNation survey, a weekly omnibus survey of 1,000 adults conducted by Synovate using their opt-in online panel, shows the percentage of households with fresh potatoes on-hand increased significantly to 73 percent as of February 2010, up from 68 percent reported during October 2009. By comparison, the February 2007 report indicated 71 percent of households had an in-home inventory of fresh potatoes. The data is balanced to be representative of the general US population based on region, gender, age and income as reported by the US Census Bureau.
"While we can't be exactly sure as to why we saw this increase, it could be attributed to October being part of the run-up to the holidays with lighter eating habits, while February is in the thick of the winter season with post holiday fare still in the pantry," explained Kathleen Triou, USPB Vice President Domestic Marketing. "However, over the past couple months, including February, we also saw a significant increase in hits to www.potatogoodness.com, especially to the microwave cooking and quick and healthy eating sections.
"So, the inclination is consumers are acknowledging the value, versatility and healthfulness of the potato. They're keeping them on-hand and in the pantry for convenient meal preparation."
Triou also references the increase in deals and promotions for 10-pound bags during this time period, which may also explain the increase in fresh inventory. The general trend of eating at home again, especially dinnertime meals, may also explain the increase in the frozen, refrigerated, instant/boxed and chip categories.
For additional information about the NET eNation survey pertaining to in-home potato inventories, contact the USPB at (303) 369-7783, or visit www.uspotatoes.com.